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Iron Studies, Serum

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Iron Studies Overview

Iron studies give results of four parameters i.e., serum iron, Total iron binding capacity (TIBC), tansferrin & unsaturated iron binding capacity (UIBC). It is widely used for the diagnosis of Iron deficiency, anaemia due to chronic disease, iron overload diseases particularly Hemochromatosis and for work up of microcytic hypochromic anaemia

Four factors, namely serum iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), transferrin, and unsaturated iron binding capacity (UIBC), are evaluated by this test. It is frequently used to diagnose iron deficiency, chronic disease-related anemia, disorders caused by iron overload, particularly hemochromatosis, and to treat microcytic hypochromic anemia.

  1. Serum iron is a measure of the amount of iron that is present in the blood. It is typically measured in micrograms of iron per deciliter of blood (mcg/dL).
  2. Transferrin is a blood plasma glycoprotein in charge of delivering ferric ions and is essential for iron metabolism. It delivers iron to several tissues, including the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, through the blood. The amount of iron in the blood that is linked to transferrin is revealed by the transferrin saturation test.
  3. Total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) is a parameter used to assess how strongly iron binds to transferrin and other blood proteins.
  4. TIBC is the sum of serum iron and UIBC.

Written by: Dr Mahak Sharma, MBBS, MD, Dept. of Heamatology 

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Iron Studies, Serum Price

Metropolis Healthcare is a leading diagnostics centre and pathology lab in India equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technologies that provides the Iron Studies, Serum with a clear pricing structure.

The Iron Studies, Serum Price in Mumbai is ₹ 775 .

We are committed to deliver accurate and quality results from the best labs in India with complete transparency regarding test cost and turnaround time. No matter where you are, we strive to offer patients high-quality service that is affordable and accessible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Iron test is done to detect iron deficiency anaemia, anaemia due to chronic disease and iron overload in conditions such as hemochromatosis and workup of microcytic hypochromic anaemia

  • To detect iron deficiency anemia
  • To determine the amount of iron in the blood
  • To diagnose conditions such as hemochromatosis and thalassemia
  • To monitor and evaluate iron levels in people taking iron supplements or undergoing iron therapy
  • To assess iron overload
  • To monitor iron levels after a blood transfusion
  • To evaluate inflammation, liver disease or other metabolic disorders.

Measures the serum iron, TIBC, UIBC & transferrin saturation

Iron test requires a blood sample. A tourniquet (elastic) band is placed tightly on the upper arm. The patient is then asked to make a fist. This helps in the build-up of blood filling the veins. The skin is disinfected before needle insertion and the blood sample is collected in vacutainer.

Iron deficiency anaemia: Concentration of Iron and transferrin saturation is decreased, while UIBC, TIBC is increased
Anaemia of chronic disease: Iron is decreased but transferrin saturation, UIBC, TIBC can be normal or decreased
Iron overload: Iron & transferrin saturation are increased, while UIBC is decreased and TIBC can be increased or normal

People with the following symptoms are advised to take an iron serum test


  • Dizziness
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Muscle weakness
  • Lack of energy
  • Weight loss


Yes. Before taking a serum test, your doctor might advise you to stay on a fasting diet for at least 12 hours.


High levels of iron, vitamin B-6, or vitamin B-12 can affect your serum iron level. High levels of iron may indicate hemolytic anemia, or hemolysis where your body does not have enough healthy red blood cells


A serum iron test is a relatively safe procedure. As with any blood test, some people may experience mild discomfort or pain at the site of the blood draw. In addition, people who have health problems involving blood clotting or bleeding may be at increased risk of complications.

Some rare side effects have been reported from an iron test. These include:

  1. Allergic reaction to the testing materials
  2. Excessive bleeding or bruising at the puncture site
  3. Infection at the puncture site.

If your serum iron test results are abnormal, you should contact your doctor right away. Your doctor may order additional tests to help determine the cause of the abnormality and will be able to provide further advice on how to manage it. Depending on the cause of the abnormality, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes or medications to help regulate your iron levels.

Normal ranges for serum iron vary between individuals and depend on the sex as well. Generally, a score below 26 mcg/dL is considered outside the normal range for women, while a low score for men is anything below 76 mcg/dL. An abnormally high iron level would be above 198 mcg/dL for men and over 170 mcg/dL for women.

Serum Iron Test

Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) Test

Unsaturated iron-binding capacity (UIBC) Test

Transferrin Saturation % Test

Transferrin saturation

Transferrin saturation index (TSI)

Transferrin saturation percentage (TS%)

Serum iron tests are typically recommended for people experiencing: fatigue, weakness, dizziness, or other anemic symptoms It is also recommended for people who have a family history of iron deficiency, who have recently had surgery, pregnant women, and those who donate blood regularly.

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